Theologians and scholars of the Hebrew Bible have long argued about the historicity of the Exodus, the authorship of the Torah, theodicy, and much else. But all agree that long ago, a small group of people appeared in history to declare that they had been chosen to play an extraordinary role in the world. Because of that declaration, the nations of the world would pay special attention this chosen people. The nations of the world would love them, and the nations of the world would despise them. By blessing the descendants of ancient Israel the nations of the world would be blessed. By cursing the descendants of ancient Israel, the nations of the world would be cursed. Israel—ancient and modern—has always been a small nation, but it has always been at the moral and political center of human affairs.
Am Yisrael Chai—the Jewish people lives—is a fact, but what is the theological meaning of this most improbable miracle? Rabbi Meir Soloveichik of Shearith Israel and Yeshiva University’s Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought examines how Jewish history itself illustrates God’s enduring providence.
Rabbi Meir Y. Soloveichik
Rabbi Dr. Meir Y. Soloveichik is a senior fellow at Tikvah, director of the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University, and senior rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States. He is also the host of the popular Bible 365 and Jerusalem 365 daily podcasts. Rabbi Soloveichik previously served as associate rabbi at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in Manhattan.
He has lectured throughout the United States, Europe, and Israel to both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences on topics relating to Jewish theology, bioethics, wartime ethics, and Jewish-Christian relations. Rabbi Soloveichik's essays on these subjects have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Commentary, Mosaic, First Things, Azure, Tradition, and the Torah U-Madda Journal. His first book, Providence and Power: Ten Portraits in Jewish Statesmanship, was published in June of this year by Encounter. In August 2012, Rabbi Soloveichik gave the invocation at the opening session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. He is the son of Rabbi Eliyahu Soloveichik, grandson of the late Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik, and the great nephew of the late Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.